Many times we tend to focus on the differences between us and that causes all sorts of problems. If we focused on how much we have in common, it would be easier to understand each other and have compassion.

I’ve seen other speakers arrive onstage astride a Harley-Davidson, or pushed on seemingly asleep in a bed. However… this is only for those who are VERY confident of being able to pull it off, and is a high-risk gambit (Microsoft scott levy fuel online Steve Ballmer’s histrionic, over-the-top opening at one company conference virtually made him a laughing stock; watch it on YouTube) – the rest of your talk needs to just as impactful, or it will be incongruent.

The other benefit of getting everyone to laugh early in the speech is that it provides what psychologists call ‘social proof’ for the audience. People tend to believe behaviour is correct or can be justified when they witness other people doing it. So if they see and hear other people laughing, they feel OK about doing it themselves. In other words, once they know it’s OK to laugh, there is a far greater chance that they will do.

The paper should deal directly with the issues. It is, with research and analysis, the “answer” submitted by the group. The entire planning team will read the paper prior to the subsequent session and then debate it during the session. Problem solving ensues. Everyone is invited to bring their feedback, questions and concerns to the next session. This is where the critical issues are dealt with and a direction is hammered out.

Keep rent to own homes in mind. Some people are turned off by the idea because they do not understand the process or are afraid of being cheated. With the right research, a rent to own home can give you an opportunity to try before you buy and most times, deal directly with the owner.

They then complained about low growth, no profits and blamed the economy for their problems. I felt better at that point with their clearly powerful and insightful analysis. Clearly they were Dunderheads. These CEOs did not make the connection that planning helps you deal with the economy and the issues that challenge your business. I am getting my pointed stick dipped in organic monkey dung to deal with these guys. It is organic dung because they are CEOs after all.

One note: more and more employers and conducting job interviews using the web cam rather than the traditional telephone interview. Brush up on you video broadcasting skills.

If only academia would provide these 10 topics in their curriculum, all organizations would benefit by having a greater workforce that would be committed to their mission.